Thursday, January 24, 2013

Calesa Tour - Vigan City

There were great and memorable events during our road trip to northern Luzon and one of them was the Calesa Tour in Vigan City. It was memorable because that was the first time that my family has ridden a Calesa. I knew that they would enjoy the ride since I still remember the excitement when I rode those bigger Calesa in Binondo with my Chinese Grandpa few decades back. Furthermore, my late Ilocana Grandma used to bring me with her when she visited her Barrio in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac during my younger years. Calesa was the only mode of transportation from the highway to her ancestral house. It really feel good to reminisce the old times thus as a father I would like to be a part of their "first time adventures." Because of this, I am happy to share my family's first Calesa Ride/Tour Journal.

In Vigan City, as directed by the hotel staff, Calesa station is located at the corner of Burgos Plaza near the Tourism Office or Cafe Leona. You'd see them lined-up along the road. No need to haggle because they have standard tour fare. An hour of tour will cost you 150 pesos whether you are alone or in group. I asked the "Kutsero" for a Heritage Tour. Aside from being a tour guide the "Kutsero" can also be your photographer as well.

My family has enjoyed the Calesa ride itself. Unlike the crazy and polluted streets of Manila, Vigan City boasts of traffic less and fine roads. The sights along the way are entertaining as well due to old houses and structures.


a cemetery viewed from the Bell Tower

The first place they visited was the famous Bantay Church and Bell Tower where "Panday" of both FPJ and Jericho were shot. The Bantay Church is not that impressive but the Bell Tower is definitely stunning. A donation of 20 pesos for the whole group was asked by the Bell Tower caretaker.


Second on their list was Burgos Museum where the famous Padre Jose Burgos, one of the three martyred priests collectively known as "Gomburza," was born. The house was converted into a museum; it showcased hordes of antiques furniture and musical instruments - to name a few. It is very fortunate that the house withstood the test of time thus future generations would have an insight on how our ancestors lived more than a hundred years back.


They also dropped-by at Burnayan where the old trade of pottery making is still being practiced. Unfortunately, being Christmas Day, the place was empty. Nevertheless, my family had a grand time checking those jars and pots. 

The entire trip lasted for about an hour. An hour of experience that would be cherished for a lifetime. I am sure that my kids would be bragging about their Calesa ride experience to their would-be kids and I would be happy to hear them narrate their story.

To check our complete travel journal: Road Trip to Ilocos (Vigan/Laoag/Pagudpud) 

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